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or scorpion can find entrance. Here dwelt five hundred companions of the Prophet, by whose labours the city became safe from venomous creatures. One of its dependencies is the city Salamít. Fifth, Kinnarin, whose chief city is Aleppo. Its dependencies are Samwíl and Antioch. Here is the tomb of Habib-Al-Najjár. Each of these provinces is again divided and subdivided into five Prefectures and Sub-Prefectures.
As to Syria, all learned men fully agree that it is the most eminent of regions, after Mecca and Medina. One, in his work «The Privileges and Desirable Gifts of Islám,' says, that God says, By us the faith is beloved; the infidels, and the rebellious and wicked, are hated. We have appointed the people of Syria to be blessed unto the end of time. We have made it the abode of prophets, and apostles, and saviours; and its shores are full of elect angels. The Lord of the universe is her surety and pledge, and hath granted unto her people the right of superiority, so that her confines shall receive no injury unto the day of judgment. It is the tending point of believers, the refuge of fugitives; especially Damascus. This possesses a sure stability, a peculiar consecration, as all agree. Hither descended Jesus son of Maria, to magnify the faith, to aid the Unitarians. Within its watered land is the
tent (Fostát) of Moslems, annexed (to its other good gifts). God hath, of his bounty, blessed the coasts and the surface of Syria, by flowing rivers and fountains of water, in the midst of houses and temples; and on its surface hath he given to grow grains and fruits and flowers, and hath made it the beloved Magazine of Adorers, the Market of the Cream of Piety. With regard to the traditions of the Prophet respecting Syria,--Offerers of prayer are best in Syria. Then the frontierland next in sanctity is Irák, and then Yemen. Let any one seek after the fatness of Syria, and quench his thirst by her rain; for God is surety and pledge for Syria. Then said one of the Prophet's followers, turning round, If God is her surety, she shall never perish. A man also said, I would go forth ; for I desire to visit the most surpassing place in the sight of God. So said the Prophet, That is Syria; for all the blessings taken from other lands are added unto Syria. All the earth shall be destroyed forty years before Syria is destroyed. Muhammad also said, Mecca is the Glorious Sign ; Medina is the Mine of the Faith ; Al Kúfa is the Tent of Islám; Al Basra, the Glory of Worshippers ; Syria, the Shrine of Piety; and Egypt, the Nest of the Devil, his asylum, and his abode. The Two Seas (Al Bahrain) are the Dwelling-place of the Blessed; and the
Continent, the Robbers' Mine. Also, the hearts of Yemen are noble; nor shall ample abundance, or supreme rule, ever be stripped off from the Kuraish. Also, the people of the sons of Hisham shall bear sway. Also the Prophet said, Let there be frontier garrisons, to guard Syria, and Yemen, and Irák; for God recognizes the inhabitants thereof as his primary people. Syria is for you; but if
you dislike Syria, then Yemen. From her streams let each quench his thirst; for God pledges himself for Syria and her people. Again, when two persons asked the Prophet's advice as to the place in which it was most desirable to dwell, he replied, Syria for you ; for that is God's choice place, wherein he fixes all good things to dwell. He who will not choose Syria, let him attach himself to Yemen instead. Ata of Khorasan says, When I meditated changing my abode, I advised with learned men of Mecca, Medina, Kúfa, Basra, and Khorasán, about the best dwelling-place for my family. All agreed to recommend Syria. Next to Syria is Ascalon; for when the Prophet said, " The mill shall be grinding among my people; Ascalon shall be quiet and plentiful,” &c.; he said again, “Shall the good things of the people of Irák be transported unto Syria, and the bad things of Syria be carried to Irák?” Again, the Prophet having conducted the
Prayer of Dawn, came forth, and, standing before the people, said, O God! bless us in our city! bless us in our weights and measures! bless us in our Harams! bless us in our Syria and our Yemen! Then a man said, And Irák too, O A postle! But he said, Who is he that is so perfect in putting forth the horn of Satan, and stirring up strife? In a comment upon the verse, “ Enter ye the Holy Land," it is said, There were six men carrying bunches of grapes, four carrying pomegranates, and two carrying figs. Syria is said to be blessed from Al Arísh unto the Euphrates.
John son of Job, and Zaid son of Thabat, were once collecting and transcribing the Korán into tablets, when the Prophet said, “ Happy Syria! for the angels of the merciful hover around thee. They overshadow your city, Damascus, all the night, and at the dawn they place divisions and battalions, with standards and ensigns, by its gates, and then ascend, praying, O God! diminish their sick, and cleanse their mud!” Again, “ All good things are divided into ten parts; a tithe is given to the other parts of the world; the other nine portions to Syria. All evil things are in like manner divided. One is apportioned unto Syria; the rest to the other parts of the world.” Again, “ Iblis (said the Prophet) shall enter Irák, and accomplish his desire therein. Then he shall
enter Syria; but they shall repulse him until he be overthrown. Then he shall enter Egypt, and therein shall dwell, and rejoice, and widen his
This was reported as from the Prophet, when all were cavilling at Moáwiyah, except Syria, which had made peace with him.-Syria, the people thereof, their wives and children, constitute the great outworks and guards of the Continent. They are the firm constant warriors in the path of God. They are to be preferred as the corner turrets and outworks of a city, or the picket-guards and frontier positions on the enemy's borders. When Syria is destroyed, no good shall remain unto my people. Syria is God's whip, wherewith he punishes those of his creatures he willeth to punish. The people of Syria are God's sword of swords, to punish the rebellious, of the earth. Syria is my quiver (says God); and when I am wrathful with the people, from that quiver I shoot my arrows. When Moawiyah had conquered Egypt, the people of Egypt began to abuse the people of Syria. Then said Awf, lifting his face, from his cloak, Dispute not, O Egyptians ! with the people of Syria ; for I heard the Prophet say, Therein are the martyr confessors; therein the ever-sustained, the ever-victorious. Moáwiyah also said, I will never curse or reproach any one